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A printmaker's progress


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Crabfest – Or How I Saved a Turkey This Thanksgiving


Gothic Victoria

Gothic Victoria

Yesterday I headed over to Port Angeles to their annual Crabfest, or how they marketed it to us Cannucks, Save A Turkey Fest this Canadian Thanksgiving. The day began with waiting in line to board the MV Coho ferry in a torrential downpour for half an hour and then having to sit outside on deck on the crowded, cold ferry for the one and a half hour journey over to Port Angeles. But the rain stopped long enough for me to take some awesome shots of Victoria’s inner harbour and Fisherman’s Wharf receding in the mist.

Victoria's Inner Harbour

Victoria’s Inner Harbour

Houseboats

Houseboats

Stormy Sky

Stormy Sky

On board, some hot tea and the warm company of my friends made me forget the cold, and a renewed storm afforded me some great shots of  slick seats, flapping flag and even a rainbow.

Friends at Sea

Friends at Sea

Storm at Sea

Storm at Sea

Rainbow at Sea

Rainbow at Sea

Of course we Canadians always follow directions, and proceeded to muster as shown while waiting to disembark.

Muster Station

Muster Station

Port Angeles is always a pretty site to see with its dramatic backdrop of the Olympic mountains. This day was misty but we lucked out with some gorgeous sunshine for a few hours.

Port Angeles

Port Angeles

Before heading to the crab dinner we checked out the vendors and locals and got some awesome clothing accessories!

Crabfest50

Crabfest60

Cutest Canine

Cutest Canine

Crabby Accessories

Crabby Accessories

Finally it was time to eat, and what a messy, delicious feast it was!

Crabfest73 Crabfest77

 

We sat out another storm before boarding the ferry home. For some it had been a long day, but we all agreed a super fun one, out with our best friends, good eats and fun times.

Crabfest81

More pics of our Crabfest outing here.

Wishing all my Canadian friends a Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

 

 

 


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Tuesday Tales – Persimmon


Persimmon

Persimmon

November is persimmon season for me. As a child I was accustomed to seeing the mediterranean ones in the grocery stores, the big oval shaped squishy ones that I never really developed a fondness for. When I lived in Japan, however, I was introduced to their fuyu persimmons, a non astringent variety that is edible when still firm. Not only is the texture of the fuyu wonderfully crunchy but the taste is divine.

While in Japan I  also became aquainted with the persimmon tree. It is a wide, bushy tree with large floppy leaves that turn the most extraordinary colors in the fall. Once the leaves fall the tree is left with an adornment of bright orange persimmons looking like miniature pumpkins that is quite a lovely and singular sight to behold. Even in the big concrete metropolis that is Tokyo these lovely persimmon trees could be seen everywhere poking out over walls and fences, announcing the final fall harvest.

Fuyu persimmons and their trees can be found all over North America now, and several years ago when I had a large garden I planted a tree and waited patiently for the fruit to come. It took eight years for the first fruit to grow and when they did I made sure I photographed their beauteous bounty. The watercolour at the top is one I made from that first harvest. While most of the painting is watercolour I included some sumi ink work to connect the piece to my time spent in Japan, where I first fell in love with this tree and its fruit.

Persimmon, an 11″x14″ watercolor and ink painting, is offered this week at $200. You can contact me at chiarina@chiarina.com for further information or to purchase.


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Tuesday Tales – A Balancing Act


In Good Company

In Good Company

The Japanese love odd numbers and things off center. When I first lived in Tokyo many years ago I immediately fell in love with their pottery and china but couldn’t fathom why their tea and dinner sets came in groups of five. I thought how awkward this would be for entertaining. Do they have gatherings of two couples with a child or a single person? Is that last place at a table for six always left empty? Or do they buy double sets of everything? They didn’t seem to have particularly large families, or dinner tables for that matter. Quite the opposite. Most Japanese families were small and living in cramped quarters. I soon learned that the number four in Japanese is synonymous with death so that number is avoided. But why five and not six? I received no clear explanation on that. Some said it was to avoid divisible numbers, especially with gift giving, for to be divisible means to be more easily broken. Others claimed this was the ideal family size.

Then came the study of ikebana. I now had to learn to arrange flowers of vastly uneven lengths in odd shaped vases and tilted at extreme angles, all held together in the tiny circle or square of the sharply needled kenzan. While confusing at first, it developed my appreciation for the beauty and the delicate balance of its minimalist design.

In fact I Iearned that balance was key in many aspects of Japanese life, and it was not rooted in evenness or stability but in a dynamic interplay of all things. I brought those lessons to my own life and my own art, and I have learned that the greatest harmony and beauty is achieved not when we have our feet planted firmly on the ground but when we embrace the mutability and precariousness of life.

In the piece above I tried to infuse that sense of delicate harmony and pay tribute to my Japanese sensei. There are five cups but not all the same. The teapot is mirrored with the ghostly presence of another, for comfort is closely tied to the knowledge and memory of treasured traditions. The vertical elements are reminiscent of Japanese scrolls and banners. The colors in the piece are the subdued tones seen in much Japanese art both past and present.

In Good Company, a 12″x16″ monotype, is offered this week for $250, unframed. You can contact me at chiarina@chiarina.com to purchase or for further information.


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Photo Fridays- Welcome Home


Buon Appetito

Buon Appetito

Food photography is usually vibrant and colorful. My last photo of food was such.

Today I wanted to show something different. The colors in this photo were dim to begin with as it was late on a rainy afternoon. By removing the color and heightening the contrast I was able to focus on the steaming pasta and the shine of the plates and cutlery to create an ambience of warmth and happy homecoming.  There’s even a towel to dry the rain off. And who doesn’t like to come home to a warm plate of pasta?

Wishing you all warm homecomings this weekend.


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Photo Fridays – Luscious Last Days of Summer


Luscious Red

Luscious Red

This is my final photo posting for the summer. But when does autumn actually start? A google search showed up some interesting facts. Apparently the astronomical fall for the northern hemisphere starts on Sunday, September 22. But the autumnal equinox may vary from year to year according to climate so it may not align with the astronomical date. This year’s equinox is at exactly 20:44 on September 22. Next year’s will be on the 23rd at 02:29.

Here’s wishing you a fabulous weekend and last days of summer!


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Tuesday Tales – A Week In Provence


En Provence

En Provence

Last September I spent a week in Provence. I could have happily stayed a month, or three. While there I visited several of their most beautiful “perched” villages, spent two days hiking and sunbathing on the Mediterranean, hiked a breathtaking “falaise” and the extraordinary Colorado Provençal and delighted in some delectable local markets. Of course I took an enormous amount of pictures. But some of my favorite pictures and best times were from almost right outside my door in the village of Les Grands Cléments. Navigating its narrow streets by car was always an adventure. Much more enjoyable was taking a stroll and meeting its friendly residents. This avenue of trees, with the ripening vineyards and view to Saint-Saturnin-lès-Apt beyond was glorious in the evening light and it has become one of my favorite prints ever. Apart from the beauty I see in the image, the memory it holds of an enchanting time and place is very dear to me. Images of Les Grands Cléments can be seen here.

En Provence, a 5″x7″ photopolymer gravure etching on 8″x10″ paper is offered this week at $80 unframed, or $100 framed.


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Photo Fridays – Summer Is Served


Summer Is Served

Summer Is Served

A salad is one of my favorite meals; light, crunchy, sweet and tangy flavors exploding in your mouth, and always easy on the digestion. They’re very pretty to behold too.  The other evening when I prepared this salad and placed it on a countertop with the sunlight streaming over it I had to photograph it…a lot! I think I took almost 200 photos of it from various angles, playing with the shapes and shadows formed by the sun. D was very kind to let me use his camera while waiting patiently for his supper, which he said was very delicious.

Below are some more pics from the salad shoot.

Ready to Eat

Ready to Eat

Shadow Play With Bowl

Shadow Play With Bowl

Lovely Greens

Lovely Greens

Of course I had to shoot the emptied bowl as well, a lovely one with dragonfly motif by local potter Ann Semple at Clayfoot Crockery.

After Dinner Blues

After Dinner Blues

Dragonfly Bowl

Dragonfly Bowl

Wishing you all a lovely weekend full of light and good eats!